News coverage of Graduate Planet's 2021 educational impact
We are delighted to have been featured in the Stratford Herald celebrating the positive impact Graduate Planet achieved in 2021, 588 primary school children took part in environmental education workshops to get a better understanding of water conservation, renewable energy options and improving biodiversity within towns and cities.
Article content - Careers and Climate Fears
Taking on a hands-on approach to educate primary school children about climate change and sustainability is proving to be very rewarding for Hampton Lucy-based Graduate Planet CIC.
Formed in 2017 by director Kate Evans after working in recruitment for 23 years, the award-winning community interest company (CIC) specialises in sourcing degree-qualified candidates with up to ten years' worth of experience for businesses across the country. Graduate Planet reinvests all of its profit generated through the recruitment process into environmental sustainability education projects to raise awareness and develop children's understanding of climate change solutions.
It also works in partnership with local charities to plant trees and develop areas of rich biodiversity. Last year alone, despite the pandemic, Graduate Planet educated 588 primary school children in Stratford by taking them out of the classroom to locations where they could learn about a number of topics.
Having a job with links to the environment is something which Kate had always wanted to do. "I didn’t know where to start, but then realised I could set up my own recruitment agency and use the profit to educate the next generation on the environment and climate change.
"We expanded and tried to educate all ages, but we soon realised that was too big and the best people to focus on was the primary school children as sustainability is not on the curriculum. "You need to ingrain that knowledge at a young age, but rather than going into schools, we take them out where they can have fun, but also learn.
There are lots of activities we do, but we make sure they're hands-on. "We found out that the children are more likely to retain the information by doing something fun outdoors rather than being spoken to directly in the class room, especially because we only have a limited amount of time with them."
She added: "We also provide consolidatory resources like lesson plans so that teachers can build on the day out. Every time a school comes on a trip they get £50 worth of books on the specific topic. "They also get posters and games to ensure that the information is consolidated, teachers can build on what the children have learnt." Some of the things children have learnt include:
Ways to increase and sup port biodiversity - this included learning how to compost effectively, lessons on healthy soil, a tour in the Butterfly Farm, building wildlife habitats, dressing up as insects and animals to under stand how food chains work and completing nature hunts along the river to wards Fisherman's car park.
Understanding renewable energy options and ways to save energy in the home - this included a day at the Stratford solar farm (the largest community so lar farm in the UK) where they learnt about solar circuits, how to insulate a house by building their own mini houses, how to generate renewable energy by looking at the solar panels and building mini wind turbines. They also played games to learn about how to save water and energy at home and were encouraged to pester their parents to do the same.
Leaming how to protect rivers and conserve water - this included a day on the river, using Bell boats the children went through the lock, looked at river wildlife and water contamination. In an outdoor classroom, donated by Stratford Boat Club, they were taught by University of Warwick sustainability students about how much water is actually available to humans and wildlife and how it becomes polluted.
Kale added: "It's really essential for the children, it's their future and they have a right to be able to protect themselves and be equipped to make sure the future is sustainable. They can learn what careers are available and what a sustainable city should look like. It's also about making sure they don't feel overwhelmed. It can be quite overwhelming when you think what you can do as one person, but collectively the next generation can make a huge difference. Climate change is really coming down to the people, everyone has to do their bit."
Graduate Planet is now planning its next workshops for February 2022 where they will go into